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The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

On April 21, 2012 in Panama City, Panama, after nearly a decade of negotiations, more than 90 nations from around the world agreed to establish the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).  IPBES will be the first global mechanism that brings together information regarding the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, synthesizes that information in a policy-relevant manner, and provides analyses of that information for decision makers. 

SCB was very involved in the negotiations leading up to the establishment of IPBES.  SCB continues to be actively engaged as nations and stakeholders prepare for the first plenary meeting of IPBES in January of 2013.

Latest News

Catalogue of Biodiversity Assessments Now Available

The Panama City agreement establishing IPBES requested that the IPBES secretariat develop a catalogue of existing biodiversity and ecosystem service assessments, including relevant thematic and comprehensive assessments completed at the national, regional, subregional and global levels. In addition, the secretariat was requested to compile a critical review of the existing assessments in the catalogue to highlight the lessons learned with respect to achievement of the policy impacts, the integration of knowledge systems, the gaps in existing knowledge and current capacity-building needs.  The catalogue is available HERE and the critical review is available HERE.

First Plenary of IPBES Announced

The first meeting of the Platform's Plenary will be held in Bonn, Germany from  January 21st to 26th, 2013.  Regional and stakeholder consultations will take place one day prior to the meeting on January 20th.  The first plenary session will focus upon the remaining rules of procedures for the platform, elect members to the IPBES Bureau and Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, and discuss the needed steps to begin the work program of IPBES.  The agenda for the first Plenary can be found HERE.

IPBES Intersessional Process
(June 2012 - First Plenary)

As part of the larger agreement to establish IPBES, governments agreed to an intersessional process, coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to support and prepare for the first plenary meeting of IPBES in 2013.  The intersessional process is designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Solicit nominations from Members of the Platform on nominations to the IPBES administrative bureau and Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP).
  • Solicit comments from governments and stakeholders regarding the rules of procedure for IPBES.
  • Solicit comments from governments and stakeholders regarding IPBES reports
  • Solicit comments from governments and stakeholders on a conflict of interest policy, a policy and procedures for observer admission, and financial procedures for IPBES
  • Determine a scoping process for IPBES assessments
  • Solicit proposals on capacity building needs and activities

UNEP is currently accepting public comment on these topics.  For more information, including how to submit comments, please go to the IPBES intersessional process website.  

SCB's comments on the intersessional process can be found HERE.

SCB & the Establishment of IPBES

Negotiations to establishing IPBES began in Malaysia in 2008.  Subsequent negotiations occurred in Kenya in 2009 and the Republic of Korea in 2010.  At the 2010 meeting in Busan, Korea, governments decided that IPBES should be established, what the general focus of its work program should be, and the basic principles for its operation. 

The Busan Outcome was subsequently considered at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly.  Paragraph 19 of the Yemen Resolution requested that UNEP convene a plenary meeting to fully establish and operationalize IPBES at the earliest opportunity. The first session of the plenary on IPBES was held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2011.  The second session of the plenary on IPBES occurred in Panama City, Panama, and resulted in the establishment of IPBES as an intergovernmental body.

After participating in related consultations for several years, in 2009 SCB established an ad hoc committee focused on the establishment of IPBES. SCB members and staff filed detailed comments on IPBES, and in 2010 sent a formal delegation to Busan, Korea.  SCB's official position statement for the 2010 negotiation can be found HERE.

Following Busan, SCB sent delegations to Nairobi, Kenya in 2011 and Panama City, Panama in 2012.  SCB's comments for the 2011 negotiation can be found HERE and SCB's formal position statement regarding the 2012 meeting can be found HERE.